Friday, July 12, 2024

Prediction: Inter Miami vs St. Louis City

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions, MLS 31 May 2024

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Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 4/9

Bookmaker: Betfair

After seeing their 10-game unbeaten run ended in midweek, Inter Miami aim to bounce back on Saturday when they welcome St. Louis City to DRV PNK Stadium.

Still top of both the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings and the Eastern Conference, Inter face opponents struggling to replicate last year’s superb start to life in Major League Soccer.

Inter Miami

With a 2-1 win at Vancouver Whitecaps last week, league-leading Inter Miami extended their undefeated streak to 10 games, comprising seven wins and three draws, marking a club-record run in the MLS regular season.

However, this impressive sequence came to an abrupt end on Wednesday evening when Atlanta United, winless in their previous nine league games, clinched a 3-1 victory over the Herons in Fort Lauderdale. Despite dominating possession, Miami were far from their best, struggling to convert their control into goals, a concern for coach Tata Martino as captain Lionel Messi and other key players are set to leave for international duty soon.

Messi did manage to score in midweek, bringing his tally to 11 MLS goals, equal to teammate Luis Suarez. However, he will be eager to return to winning ways before preparing for the Copa America with Argentina’s two June friendlies.

Although their aura of invincibility was dented, Messi’s Inter Miami still sit atop the Eastern Conference. Their lead is now slim, just one point ahead, as Cincinnati also lost, but Miami has played one more game.

Team News

Tata Martino made several changes to his lineup in midweek, reintroducing Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez, while resting Leonardo Campana and Matias Rojas. Federico Redondo made his first start since being sidelined by a knee injury in March and may continue in central midfield alongside Busquets.

While Facundo Farias will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL, Diego Gomez is nearing recovery from an ankle injury but is not yet available for selection.

St. Louis City

Looking to book another trip to the MLS playoffs after a record-setting debut season in 2023, St. Louis City have struggled to replicate last year’s success and currently find themselves mired in mid-table mediocrity. The Missouri club recently slipped down to 11th in the Western Conference, trailing behind in the race for a play-off place after suffering three straight defeats.

St. Louis suffered their second defeat in three days when they lost 3-1 to Cincinnati on Sunday, and their lack of precision in the final third cost them dearly in a midweek defeat to Seattle Sounders, who climbed above Bradley Carnell’s side as a result. After conceding twice in four minutes midway through the second half at CityPark, Tomas Totland managed to pull one back late on, but the hosts couldn’t find an equaliser.

Now, City face the formidable force of Inter Miami in Florida. Having recorded no wins, four draws, and two losses on the road so far this season, they will travel south with hope rather than expectation, though the hope’s foundations will be somewhat questionable too.

Team News

Due to their lack of attacking threat, St. Louis recently signed attacking midfielder Cedric Teuchert. However, the 27-year-old must wait until the transfer window opens in July before making his debut.

Teuchert’s compatriot Eduard Lowen emerged from the bench to set up Tomas Totland’s goal on Wednesday, so he will hope to start in this game. The German has been effective at CityPark, contributing to 18 goals in 18 games since signing, but has made less impact away from home.

While Lowen recently returned from a lay-off, Joshua Yaro has yet to feature since overcoming his hamstring injury. If passed fit, the full-back could replace Canada international Kyle Hiebert, who scored an own-goal in midweek.

Conclusion

Inter Miami will surely seek to rectify their mistakes from the previous game and go full-throttle ahead, and St. Louis are likely to be on the receiving end of a comprehensive thrashing.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 4/9

Bookmaker: Betfair

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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